The country mandates that half of a board of directors for a company be elected by the workers. Workers getting a direct say in the economy is socialist idea. The government shouldn't be interfering with the way in which companies choose to manage themselves. A group of brilliant entrepreneurs shouldn't be forced to give half their company's management over to the workers. Negotiation with unions on pay and benefits is appropriate, but the union should not be dictating overall business policy and possibly ruining or stopping a great idea from getting passed.
When your definition of socialism is something that does not work it means that you are blind to what socialism means. Germany is the most socialist country on earth. The USSR was not socialist. They called themselves socialist, but they also called themselves democratic. The Nazis called them self socialist, and they weren't socialist either. Germany has employee and state representation on company boards, state owned railways, and State controlled banking.
This is exactly what democrats here in the U.S. want, less freedom, more government control. The U.S. will definitely be this way before long. It's the European model in which the New World order is built upon. No guns, sex, money or freedoms. Certain democrats here in the U.S. are already lobbying to control every aspect of your life even down to what you eat, but hey it's ok in the U.S. to murder babies and sale their body parts.
Germany has high taxes, universal health care, universal college education, great infrastructure and government control of the banks. This is a socialist model with few problems. The corporate structure of having workers share control is beneficial because it promotes strategic buy-in to the mission and goals of the company. It also allows competitive advantage because profit can be wrapped back into the company rather than going to shareholders.
Socialism allows for privately owned property and businesses exisitng alongside public run institutions. German is the perfect example. It has a coordinated market economy. Essentially the core of socialism is the redistributive capactiy of its welfare state and strength of employment restrictiveness policies. Jeremy Corbyn, in the UK is advocating far less in terms of redistribution and is named a hard core communist. This is a perfect case of labels not always matching the actual policies involved!
Capitalism is defined as an ECONOMIC system where the means of production are privately owned, where a distinction exists between owners who live off profit ("capitalists") and the mass of the population who work for wages or salaries ("workers"). Socialism, by contrast, is defined as an ECONOMIC system where the means of production are collectively owned, either by the state or collectively so there are no "capitalists" (all the workers are collective owners of industries). Germany is a purely capitalist economy, but has stronger social welfare policies and social benefits for its population than the United States affords its citizens, which Americans tend to confuse with socialism. Social welfare is an entirely different thing from the technical definition of socialism.
The government does not prevail; for it simply establishes programs for the country's good, with their country's people paying for it (the taxes do not affect them greatly). With this form of government, Germany is the most economically powerful country in Europe, with unemployment rate at only about 5 percent.
Above all else, socialism is characterized by government ownership of the means of production. That's what REAL socialism is. Look at the list of private German companies that thrive in the world market - drug companies, telecoms, airlines, car companies - and it's clear that Germany is a capitalist country. An example of government ownership of the means of production would be the health care system in the U.K., which is comprised largely of government employees and government owned and operated hospitals. Contrast that with Germany's system that relies on doctors in private practice.
But in addition to the "government-owned-means-of-production", there is also a redistributionist element to socialism. Government funded health insurance for the majority of Germans is a socialist safety net. So is the public school system in the U.S. In that sense, all western democracies have some socialist tendencies, but they are, by and large, capitalist societies.
If Germany is not a Socialist country, then what is it? Their borders are tightly controlled: No goods from China and pockets of minorities such as African-Americans, Latino, Asian communities are NON-existent. These minorities which work in service oriented industries are NOT present in Germany. Germans do it all. Outsiders are not welcomed. Dollar stores piled high with goods from China, like we have here in the U.S.? Non-existent in Germany. Germans manufacture their clothing and their dishes! Capitalism encourages entrepreneurs and excellent customer service; but unless you are German, the stops put in place by the German government are absolutely prohibitive if you are NOT German. Capitalism and customer service go hand in hand. And customer service is not a German philosophy. Germany does business like the 1970's: slow and inconvenient! Yet, customer service is one of the best and biggest aspects of capitalism and competition. The German government monitors, dictates, and is involved in the day-to-day decisions of its citizens lives: from how many cell phones, computers, tablets, and televisions each family has and how many they can have, with exorbitant taxes if you surpass the "limit" (which families must report the number of electronics and the government does not "believe" electronics for each family member is necessary) to strict censorship of books and countless music video's. Freedoms are limited. But if you are German and have never known anything different, you might not think so. I do know: I lived in Stuttgart from 2005-2014 and I am not German, but a 10th generation American. And, no,, if you are a tourist for 2, 3, or 4 days does NOT count. Being a tourist is impossible to discover what living in Germany is all about. Limited freedoms? Interference in the smallest aspects of citizens' lives? Censorship? No understanding of customer service and little or NO diversity in Germany's population? No competition and no new idea's welcomed or allowed? If heavy government control and limitations are set upon its citizens, if that is a measure by which we define Socialism, then Germany very easily fits that definition.
Germany has a capitalist market economy, however, with relatively high tax rates. This money is used to fund extensive social welfare and health care programs, as well as anti-unemployment measures and a mostly state-run system of education. Most government owned corporations where privatized since the 1980's, the others face private-sector competition, and operate mostly without state funding.
No. The country is somewhat socialist, it uses mostly capitalism, similar to WWII United States. Even though the rest of Europe is considered socialist, Germany does not fall in that realm. Small uses of the socialist tactics are evident such as the workers nominating or electing the board of director for a company, but again this is just a small part of the running of Germany.
Americans have this great problem. Mixing socialism with Social state/social welfare. It's not the same. Socialism doesn't have free trade and is a closed market, it's very close to communism. Social state (which is what exists in majority in Europe) is a different story. It has free market, capitalist economy only that it has social welfare programes. Do you think a socialist country (Cuba, ex-Yougoslavia, Libiya, etc.) produce a Mercedes? Or BMW? There you go.
Despite what some may argue is a strong social involvement by the “workers” within the German economic system, the underlying principles behind their economic structure are capitalistic. Socialism is a true form of economic structure, and Germany does not meet the requirements set forth in the definition of such an economic framework, to be considered even close. Just because they have common health care, among other useful things, that are not yet evident in the United States, many want to label Germany as “socialistic” in theory, only to support their own derogatory agendas.
After WWII, both Germany and Japan were in a terrible state. America helped them out with supplies, etc. And in doing so, they also showed the two countries how using Capitalism the way that they were would help the economy (coincidence that they're 2 of the best countries in the world, eh?). They do have some socialist aspects, but for the most part, they cannot be considered a socialist country like the rest of Europe is.
They certainly seem socialist in that they support prosperity and security for all of their people, not just the rich upper-class as you see in notably capitalistic countries. However, my understanding of the difference is that socialists don't own anything or make money for themselves and this is not the case in Germany. Suggestions of socialism bring up national, political biases; Americans are generally given to believe that socialism is wrong but in researching this question I've found that Germans seem to have an American dream of equality and security.